Retreat-Artistic Call

Embracing the Artistic Call: A Cohort Program for Exploring the Mystery of the Creative Experience, Initial Week: February 5, 3:00 p.m. to February 9, 1:30 p.m., 2018

This retreat is full. Please call 208-962-5065 to be on the waiting list.

Dare to declare who you are. It is not far from the shores of silence to the boundaries of speech. The path is not long, but the way is deep. You must not only walk there, you must be prepared to leap.

We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.

~ Hildegard of Bingen

Artwork by EAC facilitator Heather Berndt,

Embracing the Artistic Call is a cohort program for bringing together individuals at any level of artistic proficiency who have a desire to live a creative life with intention, connecting in deeper and more life-bringing ways to God, the source of life, us, and all our gifts and inspirations. The retreat will be an adventure of discovering new gifts and new inspirations.

It is a journey requiring the courage we get from community. While each of us follows a creative path distinctly our own, we benefit from the mutual support and encouragement of others. Those who share a desire to develop an authentic artistic practice can be especially inspiring as we make small changes in our own lives to allow this to happen.

Our journey together will begin with a week-long retreat, February 5-9, 2018, to explore what it means to live a creative life with intention. We’ll spend time sharing insights and experimenting with new ways of finding inspiration and commitment.

Over the next twelve weeks, we’ll continue our journeys toward creative lives by responding to weekly invitations or prompts. We’ll be invited to try new art forms and engage in experiences that make us stretch and look at the world in new ways. We’ll also have many opportunities to stay connected with our fellow artist participants for encouragement and support.

Finally, we will meet again for a weekend retreat May 4-6, to reflect upon our experiences, share our artistic discoveries and make commitments to continue to live intentional creative lives.

Embracing the Artistic Call is limited to 20 participants. A donation of $780 will cover the retreats, food, lodging, and program costs.



Heather Hopkins Berndt is a Spokane-based graphic designer, collage artist and retreat leader with a passion for inspiring exploration of the divine through creativity and soulful living. As a Certified SoulCollage® Facilitator and deep soul diver, she offers experiences grounded in the holy trinity of spirituality, creativity and transpersonal psychology. Heather studied Integrated Communications at Eastern Washington University and is currently pursuing certification as an Interfaith Spiritual Director. She completed training in Expressive Arts for Spiritual Directors through Abbey of the Arts in 2016 and has attended many retreats and workshops focused on care of the soul. A student of monastic wisdom, Heather is delighted to partner with the Monastery of St. Gertrude as a co-facilitator for the Embracing the Artistic Call Cohort program. Learn more at


Karla Neumann Smiley is a campus minister at University of Idaho and also serves part time at Troy Lutheran Church. She has been a part of the Spirituality & Arts Team since its inception and is a facilitator for the Embracing the Artistic Call cohort. “The Monastery community and its gift of hospitality is a spiritual support for me. I am reminded that my creative practice is a form of spiritual expression and, like prayer, an important piece of a balanced life.”




Theresa Henson responds to life in a variety of ways including writing, sculpting, and music. She is also the Monastery’s director of creative services. She graduated with degrees in English and Art Studio from U.C. Santa Barbara and also holds a M.A. in Transforming Spirituality from Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry. She studies the intersections of faith, beauty, and the imagination. One of her favorite quotes is from N. Scott Momaday: “We are what we imagine. Our very existence consists in our imagination of ourselves. Our best destiny is to imagine, at least, completely, who and what, and that we are. The greatest tragedy that can befall us is to go unimagined.” Learn more at





Reviews from previous EAC participants:

“Full of surprises, twists and turns and ah-ha moments. It was nurturing in a way I hadn’t anticipated.”

“This experience gave me the nudge I needed to say, ‘I’m an artist person!’ I experimented and created and had a blast! I see myself in a whole new way, now.”

“Loving setting, supportive staff, well researched programing and variety of activities, idea exposure and resources. I will be reaping the rewards and exploring suggestions for some time to come.”

“So important in bringing about a balance in my daily art practice that I can scarcely find the proper words for it.”

“Added so much depth, dimensions and possibility to my life. New people, new courage, new projects. Sunny and Colorful.”


Please tell me how I can be a part of the cohort program Embracing the Artistic Call 2018:

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